There are few services in Google's ecosystem more useful than Google Photos. With free unlimited storage for your photos in high quality and support for both Android and iOS, over half a billion people view a combined five billion pictures in Google Photos every single day.

At this year's I/O conference, Google announced a number of significant new features for its photo management service.

What's new in Google Photos at I/O 2018?

  • One-tap actions: One of Google's top priorities with Photos is enabling quick and simple adjustments that make your photos stand out. During today's I/O presentation, Google demoed new one-tap actions that appear beneath your photos, allowing you to automatically brighten or rotate your shots, or even intelligently re-color black and white images.
  • Selective desaturation: The Assistant tab of Google Photos is being updated as well, adding the ability to make the subjects of your photos pop by selectively desaturating the background behind them.
  • Shared Libraries: Photos is also making use of AI to detect the subject(s) of your photo, whether it's a person, animal, or object, and in the case of people it will automatically identify the person based on previous selections and offer to send them a link to the photos they're in. You'll be able to set up Shared Libraries, which notify members of newly added photos and automatically save photos to each user's personal library.
  • Partner program: In addition, Google is introducing a new Google Photos partner program that provides developers with the necessary tools to integrate Google Photos into their products. This will open the door for more physical products, similar to Google's own photo books.

When will these features be available?

Many of Google Photos' new features are already rolling out today, including the one-tap adjustments displayed underneath captured photos and the selective desaturation feature in the Assistant tab.

Other features will be rolling out more gradually; Shared Libraries will reach users on both Android and iOS, as well as the Google Photos web client, in the coming weeks, while the Google Photos partner program will take a few months to come to fruition. There's also no specified timeframe for the rollout of Google's black-and-white photo colorization — hopefully it doesn't become vaporware like last year's demo of foreground object removal.